February 6, 2023

General communications for those receiving food stamps and meal vouchers

By Transfer Bill (PLV) 21/2022, arising from the Provisional Measure (MP 1.108/2022), both food stamps How much (VA) meal ticket (VR) will undergo significant changes from 2023.

At the beginning, the text made the following suggestion:

  • VA and VR shall be used exclusively for purchasing food or paying for meals at restaurants or other similar establishments;
  • Businesses will no longer be able to obtain discounts from food ticket providers;
  • Foundations must receive cards of any flag;
  • Workers will be able to withdraw food or meal vouchers 60 days after receipt.

However, after making the necessary compromises in the Federal Chamber of Deputies, the Senate and the President of the Republic, the proposals underwent some changes. See how it turns out below.

Food stamp changes starting in 2023

It was previously confirmed that food vouchers and meal vouchers will continue to be used exclusively to purchase food and pay for meals in restaurants or other establishments, respectively. This rule has already been considered, because if it is a violation, allowing resources to be used for other purposes, then the benefit will not be so significant.

In terms of discounts for companies that offer VA/VR to their employees, they can no longer occur. This is because the practice hurt employees, because card brands charged more than institutions, passing the excess on to customers. This made it possible to often buy less than expected with interest.

Additionally, starting May 1st, all organizations that receive a VA or VR as payment will have to accept any flag. The law specifies that the card can be used for any trade, even those not approved by the respective flag.

Finally, the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, opposed the measure allowing workers to withdraw the unused balance of meal vouchers (VR) or food vouchers (VA) after 60 days. According to the decision, the feature was used for other purposes, such as paying for gym memberships and cable TV services, for example. But not for its main purpose, which is food.

Food and meal allowance

The food voucher or meal voucher (VA or VR) was created after the enactment of Law No. 632, which was implemented by the Food Program for Workers (PAT) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Health.

The benefit can be given in the form of food or through deposits on the card. It should be noted that the company cannot deposit the allowance in cash into the worker’s account, because it escapes from the purpose of purchasing meals.

According to Article 458, the employer who provides the food voucher to employees may deduct a fee from the worker’s salary. However, this deduction cannot affect the worker’s income, not exceeding a margin of 20% of the contractual salary.

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